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Understanding TBRI® Correcting Principles

Understanding TBRI Correcting Principles

Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) is a care model designed to help meet relational and developmental needs of children and youth impacted by trauma. TBRI considers the whole child—his or her brain, biology, behavior, body, and beliefs—and provides parents and caregivers with practical tools and insight to help their child(ren) reach his or her highest potential. And, perhaps most integral, TBRI has connection at its core—the truth that connection builds trust, and trust builds healthy relationships.

Developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross of the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development (KPICD) at TCU, the TBRI model is built upon three guiding principles

Connecting Principles: Create connections that disarm fear, gain trust, and enhance learning.

Empowering Principles: Strengthen learning and regulation by meeting a child’s physical and environmental needs. 

Correcting Principles: Shape beliefs and behaviors effectively, so children feel safe, protected, and empowered.

The goal of Correcting Principles is to help children and teens learn appropriate strategies for getting their needs met and to learn to navigate successful interactions throughout their day.

Connected Parenting Versus Other Parenting Techniques

– Time-ins vs. Time-outs

– Bringing your child closer vs. Sending him or her away

– Compromises vs. Consequences 

– Problem-solving vs. Lectures 

– Advocacy stance vs. Adversary stance 

– Focus on your child’s preciousness vs. Focus on his or her failures

The following are practical questions, tips, and activities to help you reflect, remember, and act as you work to engage and build connection with your child and/or teen.  

Questions & Reflections

– How could you proactively teach and practice to help create a new pattern of behavior or interaction for both you and your child? 

– What helps you regulate and calm? What helps your child regulate and calm? 

– Consider whether you are using fear or control to change your child’s behavior. How can you correct while staying connected and building greater trust? 

Tips & Reminders

– Offer choices to help your child feel safe, heard, and valued. Keep in mind that you must be willing to accept either choice you offer, and choices should not be threats or punishments. 

– Return to playful, warm interactions when conflict is resolved. When it’s over, it’s over. 

Action Points

Practicing Redos

Write on five index cards the most common scenarios your child needs to redo. Select one card at a time, and make it fun and playful. Use puppets or stuffed animals to act out the wrong and right ways. Praise your child for completing the redo. With older kids or teens, act out or talk through the scenarios. Share power by giving your child the choice of which role he or she portrays. Praise the child with a high five, fist bump, hug, or verbal affirmation. 

Regulating Activities 

– Sample regulating activities include: 

Deep Breathing: Breathing deeply will oxygenate the body and brain, helping children and youth (and caregivers!) think more clearly, learn more easily, and make better behavioral choices. 

Magic Mustache: Pressing the parasympathetic pressure point—just above the center of the upper lip—creates a calming influence. Most kids love this exercise.

Blowing Your Soup: Pretend to hold a bowl of soup and blow on it to cool it off. Let children choose the type of soup they are cooling. 

Chair Sit-Ups/Floor Push-Ups: These are calming and can be done anytime your child is feeling overwhelmed. 

This is the fourth in a series of five blog posts. Also check out:
An Introduction to Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®)
Understanding TBRI® Connecting Principles
Understanding TBRI® Empowering Principles
Understanding The Gospel and TBRI®

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